Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuits filed this year through May 15 totaled 4,102, down 4.6% from last year's pace of 4,299, according to WebRecon LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that tracks the data from U.S. District courts.
"It's beginning to look like FDCPA litigation may have peaked in 2011 for the time being, though a few more months of analysis will provide a stronger basis for that theory," says Jack Gordon, CEO at WebRecon.
Consumer litigation against collection agencies and creditors in 2011 set several records - including cases citing the FDCPA, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) (see story).
FCRA and TCPA lawsuits are both up significantly from the year-ago pace. FCRA lawsuits reached 857 through May 15, up 75% from 489 a year ago. TCPA cases totaled 383 by mid-May, up 93% from 198 a year ago.
Consumers filed an estimated 526 lawsuits in May's first half (May 1-15), named an estimated 605 different collection agencies and creditors in those suits. The total included 443 citing alleged FDCPA violations, 109 FCRA cases, 42, TCPA lawsuits and 23 TILA lawsuits. Of the total, there were an estimated 557 unique plaintiffs, including 182 who had previously sued under consumer statutes. Combined, since 2001, those plaintiffs have filed an estimated 1,109 lawsuits.
Sergei Lemberg and David M. Larson were the both active attorneys in the first half of May, each representing 17 consumers. Lemberg (127) and Larson (123) also rank atop the year-to-date total.
The top courts for filings in the May 1-15 include: New York Eastern District Court, Brooklyn (32); Illinois Northern District Court, Chicago (30); and Colorado District Court, Denver (27).